Top 10 Prospects for 2010: Florida Marlins and New York Mets

Florida Marlins

1. Mike Stanton: Stanton’s power is absolutely legit and still growing. His plate discipline and contact skills leave much to be desired, but they are still growing as well. He’s exciting but still needs at least one more full year in the minors.
2. Logan Morrison: Morrison is one of those guys that goes about his business with quiet competitiveness and polished yet underrated consistency. With incredible plate patience and enviable contact skills, he is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Stanton in that regard.
3. Chad James: James has your typical combination of a low-90s fastball and a great frame to add more velocity. His curveball shows promise as his out pitch, and his change-up is usable. He is a solid first round high school pitcher.
4. Matt Dominguez: Dominguez has progressed slower than expected, but he is still just 20-years-old. Yet, it is getting to the point where one can legitimately question every aspect of his bat. The tools and potential are still apparent, but tangible progress must be made soon.
5. Kyle Skipworth: Skipworth laid a dud in his full season debut. For his age he did show some flashes of power, however. His stock has certainly taken a hit, but he is way too young and talented to give up on.
6. Ryan Tucker: Injuries hit Tucker hard in 2009. His season was short and difficult to swallow. Yet, his injuries are not too serious. He has the talent of a #2 starter, and 2010 could be his legit breakout.
7. Jake Smolinski: As far as I can tell, Smolinski is still being floated between second base and third base, and he has the skills for either position. He has a strong eye and solid contact skills. He could be a .300 hitter one day with a bit of playable power to boot. I like him, but his power doesn’t stand out, leaving his upside limited.
8. Brad Hand: Hand had a decent Sally League debut. His promising fastball / curveball combination showed strong flashes, but his control came and went. Look for his mound presence and consistency to take the next step in 2010.
9. Isaac Galloway: Galloway has tools galore, but he is as unrefined as they come. His most glaring deficiency is his plate discipline. His power and speed have potential, but have been a disappointment thus far. He is a long way away but one to keep an eye on.
10. Gaby Sanchez: Sanchez seems stuck at first base, and it is looking more and more unlikely that his bat will be even average in the major leagues. He does have some power, plate coverage, consistency, and possibly even more room to grow. He is running out of time, however.

New York Mets

1. Jenrry Mejia: Mejia mowed down most opponents on his way to a breakout 2009. Overall, though, his Double-A performance left much to be desired, and his Arizona Fall League stint was disastrous. He has a long way to go before his control and consistency catch up to his velocity.
2. Fernando Martinez: Martinez’s stock has faded somewhat over the last year or two. His contact skills and gap power are solid, giving him the look of a future .300 hitter, but his home run power and plate patience haven’t progressed much. Yet, he is still just 21-years-old.
3. Wilmer Flores: Flores has an athletic frame that can hold more weight, leaving me to think that his strong gap power will progress into home run power. At just 18-years-old he had an okay Sally League debut, but he has plenty of time for every aspect of his game to develop.
4. Ike Davis: Davis silenced his doubters in 2009. His 2008 season was forgettable, but his power hit the main stage last year. His batting average and on base percentage were eye-opening as well, leaving many thinking Davis has a future as an above-average first baseman.
5. Reese Havens: Havens may not stick at shortstop, but his bat should play at both second and third base. He has some thunder in his bat and has demonstrated a good amount of plate discipline. However, I am discouraged that he spent the entire year, as a 23-year-old, at Advanced-A while only posting a .247 batting average.
6. Jonathon Niese: I still consider Niese an under the radar prospect, but he deserves a slot at the back-end of New York’s rotation in 2010 based on his strong three-pitch mix and constant improvement. His future lies as a #3 starter.
7. Jeurys Familia: There is a lot to like about the athletic and still growing Familia. His fastball sits in the low-90s and has room to expand. His curveball is inconsistent but has all the makings of a plus offering. His successful full season debut in the Sally League lends support to the scouting reports.
8. Ruben Tejada: Tejada put together an eye-opening Double-A performance in 2009. It appears that he could stick at shortstop, but Jose Reyes is ultimately blocking his ascent there. His plate coverage and contact ability are advanced beyond his years, and his speed will be an asset as he moves forward, but his body type will not allow much power. Yet he does have a solid shot to be a full-time major league middle infielder.
9. Brad Holt: Holt’s fastball could mean the top of the rotation is in his future, but every other aspect of his game needs serious refinement. His movement, control, and secondary offerings leave much to be desired, which is discouraging for a 23-year-old.
10. Josh Thole: Thole has a future if he can become an adequate defender behind the plate. He possesses great contact skills and some gap power, but his home run power is lacking, even for a catcher, meaning his upside is limited.

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I think Nieuwenhuis and Allen [particularly Nieuwehnhuis] should be in the top 10 over Tejada and Thole. Holt’s ranking is definitely a bit low but your assessment seems fair.

Havens battled some injuries and suffered from a .275 BABIP. Otherwise, his plate discipline and power are very good for a middle infield prospect.

More on Holt vs. Familia. Holt, while he got roughed up in his first AA start (just as he did in his first A+ start), he dominated pretty much over the next 9 starts before the ankle injury, with a 1.57 ERA, 10.17 SO/9, and 2.35 BB/9 in that stretch. I suspect he was never 100% after that, especially as he also didn’t participate in instructional league after the season. The guy I saw in the FSL this year wasn’t that far off from Drabek. He does need to refine his command to be a #2, but he should at… Read more »
Nice job. I think Holt is a bit low here, but others I think have him a bit high. Others also have Thole a bit high, and I like him better at 10 here, and might even suggest dropping him for Nieuwenhuis. I liked Nieuwenhuis about as much as Havens from what I saw at St. Lucie. And he was only 21. I realize some will be a bit skeptical at first of a small school third rounder, but Kirk will be a solid player IMHO, with a higher ceiling than Thole or Tejada. Aside from leaving off Nieuwenhuis though,… Read more »
Al Scherer
Al Scherer

Mejia… “fall league stint disastrous” – you are absolutely right – assuming we want to evaluate him on the 6 starts.

But I disagree with your assertion that his “Double-A performance left much to be desired.”  As a 19-yr old in AA, he struck out more than a batter per inning, allowed 1.0 hit per IP, had almost a 3-to-1 GB/FB ratio and a .260 BAA (and that with a .350 BABIP).  Yes, he walked too many but I’d say overall that’s a pretty respectable performance for a 19 yr old!

On the other hand, fall league performance?  Yes, disastrous…


It has come to my attention that the information I posted above is completely wrong. I thought I was looking at AA gamelogs, but they included A+.  The stats for the 9 start stretch I mentioned were from the A+ FSL (8 of them anyway), not AA. No wonder that first start looked so similar (doh!). 

Holt was pretty bad from the get go at AA, though the ankle injury did occur after his first start, it isn’t clear whether that played any role.